Samantha Lasky, 202-257-5327
Tom Phillips, 212-935-4655
Global Entrepreneurship Week/USA—Nov. 17-23, 2008—Unveiled
Youth Interest in Entrepreneurship Strong, According to New Kauffman Survey
KANSAS CITY, Mo., Nov. 13, 2007 – Plans for the first Global Entrepreneurship Week were unveiled in London today in a formal announcement by Carl Schramm, president of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and Gordon Brown, prime minister of the United Kingdom. Young Americans who are intrigued by entrepreneurship can join their global counterparts to celebrate and learn about the many opportunities it affords them during this weeklong celebration set for November 17-23, 2008. Organizers launched www.unleashingideas.org as the official Web site for the global initiative.
The announcement coincides with the release of a Kauffman Foundation-commissioned Harris survey, which shows that young people want to be their own boss.
Global Entrepreneurship Week will engage young people everywhere to learn about the possibilities of entrepreneurship. Partners from around the world already include more than 30 nations, such as Australia, Brazil, China, France, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan and Uganda. Global Entrepreneurship Week is a combination and expansion of two successful initiatives—the debut of EntrepreneurshipWeek USA in 2007 and the inspiration behind it, Enterprise Week in the UK, which was kicked off in 2004 by now-Prime Minister Brown.
"By unleashing the creativity and ideas of young people all over the world, we can create the successful products and businesses of tomorrow," stated Prime Minister Brown.
"Young people are involved in entrepreneurial ventures all around the world, using their creativity, ingenuity, and energy to start businesses and solve problems," said Schramm. "This enterprising spirit—the core of Global Entrepreneurship Week—is an invaluable resource the world must tap as we seek to extend the benefits of economic growth to more people across the globe and address the complex challenges facing us all."
Global Entrepreneurship Week/USA
EntrepreneurshipWeek USA, the pilot initiative led by the Kauffman Foundation earlier this year, resulted in 1,310 partner organizations planning more than 3,700 activities that directly engaged 481,449 participants. The planners expect to eclipse these numbers in November 2008 as more than 350 organizations already have signed up as Partners and committed to planning an activity during the Week.
"If you look at today's connected world, opportunities to make an impact are no longer constrained by yesterday's barriers—where you live or how much experience you have—it's all about who can take their ideas and make them happen," said Jonathan Ortmans, president of Global Entrepreneurship Week/USA. "There are a lot of young people who don't realize that yet, and this initiative is going to change that in a big way."
While the Week has expanded to be global in scope, activities in the United States will still carry the same local and national feel as the 2007 pilot event.
"There will be one or two global activities that people from all countries can take part in," added Ortmans. "But at its heart, this initiative will continue to be driven by our partners and their community-based activities throughout the country."
The initiative continues to receive the endorsement of the nation's leading governors on the topic of innovation.
"As Chair of the National Governors Association in 2006-07, I championed the idea that innovation is essential to America's competitiveness. Global Entrepreneurship Week/USA is a great way to promote that innovation," stated Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona.
Napolitano serves as the Co-Lead Governor on Innovation for the National Governors Association along with Governor Jon Huntsman of Utah.
"Global Entrepreneurship Week/USA inspires future business leaders to embrace creativity, innovation and a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit. One individual's invention could be a society's solution to a higher quality of life," Huntsman said. "This is a critical message to our youth: today's economy values creativity and determination."
Survey Shows Youth Interest in Entrepreneurship
The Kauffman Foundation released a survey today that shows America's young people want to be their own boss. The Foundation commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct an online survey of 2,438 youth ages 8 to 21 about entrepreneurship. It shows that four in 10 young people would like to start their own business in the future.
Those who want to have their own business say their top reasons are to use their skills and abilities (92 percent), build something for their future (89 percent), be their own boss (87 percent), see their ideas realized (81 percent) and earn lots of money (85 percent).
In the United States, 63 percent of respondents in the Harris survey already believe that, if they work hard, they can be entrepreneurs. Twenty-six percent of the youth believe that entrepreneurship is a more desirable career opportunity than other options
The Kauffman Foundation has several initiatives geared to engaging young people in entrepreneurship, including Global Entrepreneurship Week (www.unleashingideas.org), Hot Shot Business (www.hotshotbusiness.com), Kauffman Campuses and others outlined on www.kauffman.org.
For a fact sheet on the survey results, visit www.kauffman.org.
Global Entrepreneurship Week
With the goal to inspire young people to embrace innovation, imagination and creativity, Global Entrepreneurship Week will encourage youth to think big, to turn their ideas into reality, and to make their mark. From Nov. 17-23, 2008, millions of young people around the world will join a growing movement of entrepreneurs who seek to generate new ideas and to seek better ways of doing things. Events are being planned from dozens of countries from around the world, but while the Week is global in scope, at its heart, it is a local initiative that reflects the customs and entrepreneurial culture of each community. To learn more, visit the official Web site of Global Entrepreneurship Week at www.unleashingideas.org.
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City is a private, nonpartisan foundation that works with partners to advance entrepreneurship in America and improve the education of children and youth. The Kauffman Foundation was established in the mid-1960s by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman. Information about the Kauffman Foundation is available at www.kauffman.org.
Survey MethodologyHarris Interactive® fielded a seven-question study online for the Kauffman Foundation from July 12 to Aug. 2, 2007 along with the questions fielded through its YouthPulseSM online annual survey, among 2,438 U.S. 8 to 21 year olds. The 8- to 17-year-olds' figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, region, urbanicity, and highest level of education for their parents were weighted where necessary to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population. The 18- to 21-year-olds' figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, region, education, and income were weighted where necessary to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for 18- to 21-year-old respondents' propensity to be online. Respondents for these surveys were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the U.S. 8- to 21-year-old population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to be invited to participate in the Harris Interactive online research panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.